"The face of the operation is Briatore (referred to exclusively in the film by his colleagues and angry, chanting detractors as "Flavio"), an anthropomorphic radish who spends most of his time at QPR plotting to fire all of the managers."
So Marques Slocum is around. On campus and stuff. There's a update on Rivals detailing his situation:
[er... whoops! The text here was deceptively premium. Suffice it to say that there's a headline on Rivals ("Slocum enrolls at Michigan") that is very specific.]
For those not intimately familiar with the bizarre saga of Marques Slocum, he was a near-five star defensive tackle recruit who commited to Michigan for the '05 class, but he did not qualify academically. He then spent a semester at Milford Academy attempting to get his grades and test scores up, then another when the first semester didn't take. He spent this summer taking and retaking standardized tests, never quite getting the score he needed. All hope appeared to be lost after his last score came back, but Slocum appealed on grounds that some of his answers weren't counted or didn't show up or were misgraded or something. It's all very vague. Now he's around, but with a catch.
I've never seen a recruit this tenaciously determined to go to school here. Anybody else would be in their second year at a JUCO or receiving a PhD from Michigan State by now. He's in. He's got to do well in Astro 111 and then he'll be given a winged helmet. I am available for tutoring sessions, Marques, and if provided with a nice Che-like vector graphic of your face will print "I WANT TO BELIEVE" T-shirts, except that's an NCAA violation so I won't.
Now that's a headline. Conway, SC wide receiver Junior Hemingway has committed to Michigan. Someone peal the church bells. Informative update coming.
Informative Update: Hemingway first popped up on Michigan recruitniks' radar during last year's summer camp. As a rising junior, he blew the doors off -- most observers said that, like Mallet, he was clearly the best player at his position there despite not being a senior -- and was rumored to be a candidate for a signing day commit. Obviously, that didn't happen, but Michigan will take him any time he wants to say "I do." Hemingway had 52 catches for 846 yards and 10 touchdowns his junior year.
Recruiting services are split on just how good Hemingway is. Rivals and Scout have him ranked around the tail end of their top 100s. On Scout he's the last receiver in; on Rivals he's the first receiver out. ESPN, though, loves him. He's the #17 player in their top 150 and sounds like a slower version of Braylon Edwards in their scouting report ($):
He is exceptional tracking the ball while in the air and possesses rare body control and the ability to make acrobatic catches. ... Shows the ability to consistently gain separation and is a huge threat on the fade and vertical routes. ... He can extend for the ball away from his body. This is the trait that separates him from others in this class. If the ball is near him, he will catch it.
Scout's evaluation is similar:
A downfield leaper, Hemingway may not be the fastest player on the field but he certainly stretches it with his ability to go up for the grab. Great hands, catches everything...
His coach confirms that as "tremendous" is to Lloyd Carr, "leaper" is to Junior Hemingway:
"[Hemingway] has great concentration, great hands, great leaping ability, got good speed and has a good frame," Jordan said. "He's a triple jumper with a great vertical."
Speed concerns could be overblown, as he won the Smokehouse award during his '05 camp trip and reported a 4.58 electronic 40 -- equivalent to a 3.5 hand-timed or something.
WR recruiting is no longer an issue, though Michigan will continue to pursue Toney Clemons and a couple of Californians.
It wouldn't be Michigan hockey without a mid-August departure.
Rivals is reporting that sophomore Tyler Swystun has left to join a WHL team. Michigan is not devastated if Mel Pearson's quote is any indication:
"I don't think he was ready for the strength and the speed of the college game, but we were counting on him for an improved year," assistant coach Mel Pearson said.
Improved but still on the fourth line. Swystun was a huge disappointment a year ago, clearly the team's worst player, and had a long way to go to do anything in college. No doubt he'll rack up a PPG in the WHL.
If Trevor Lewis had shown up on campus Swystun's departure would have been a blip, but now Michigan is down to 11 forwards. Unless a walkon steps up they'll have to convert a defenseman. Pearson throws Jack Johnson's name out as a possibility, but my money is on David Rohlfs. He's has bounced back and forth from forward to D already and has the size to be a grinding defensive winger. Moving Summers or Kampfer is a bad idea since both will be relied upon to soak up minutes next year, when Michigan figures to have defensemen leave en masse. Johnson is needed on the blueline.
I try to ignore CFN because it has all the bad bits of the mainstream media without any of the useful ones like actual reporting. But Google News does not discriminate, and my search for "Lloyd Carr" turned up this Matthew Zemek column which was the proverbial straw on my ever-fragile camel's back. He tut-tuts about the shoddy treatment given to Lloyd Carr:
The heat Lloyd Carr has had to deal with at Michigan has been understandable in certain pockets (losing to Notre Dame on an almost annual basis, for example), but is unfathomable in its sustained and overall ferocity. Carr has delivered a national title to Ann Arbor, and earned Rose Bowl berths in the 2003 and 2004 seasons. He has a winning record against Ohio State, and graduates his players. Yes, five of his 11 seasons have failed to either gain double-digit wins or claim a Big Ten title, but that means that the other six seasons have been successful. And yet, Carr is an unpopular figure these days in the shadow of the Big House. ThatÃ‚Â’s a perfect example of how scrutiny on coaches is so often misplaced and, moreover, excessive.
Says who? The idea that Lloyd Carr is "on the hotseat" comes entirely from the media. Extrapolating from Michigan's historically bad 7-5 record and a couple FireCoachX websites, one media caveman wildly speculates that Carr must win or leave:
Year in and year out, no Big Ten team is more disappointing. The common denominator: coaching. Hmmmm. Let's call this a make-or-break season for Lloyd Carr. He can handle it, right?
Some may think Carr isn't on a hot seat. Maybe that person is Mrs. Carr.
A second grunts in agreement, implying that he may not believe Carr should go but the fans are pounding on the door, demanding that he be placed in the "hot seat" section:
16. Hot seat (cont.)
We don't necessarily agree with these names but here goes ...
Larry Coker has had the temerity to go 9-3 in consecutive seasons.
Lloyd Carr is coming off Michigan's worst season in 21 years.
A third adds a note of hectoring disapproval:
I have some bad news for the webmasters of FireLloydCarr.com, FireLloydCarrNow.com, FireLloydandTommy.blogspot.com: Carr isn't going anywhere, except to work tomorrow. He'd rather dot the i on Script Ohio than walk away -- or be told to walk away -- from the only college head coaching job he has ever known.
Michigan lets it be known that Lloyd Carr is not going anywhere; this causes the original grunter to write possibly the dumbest column in the history of man:
So, Michigan's brass boldly states that Lloyd Carr is "here to stay."
What did you expect the guys sitting in the high-back leather chairs to utter in August? That Carr was on the hot seat? That Carr had to win the Big Ten this year -- or he would be fired?
Yeah, right. It's just more blabber from the Ann Arbor ivory tower.
Soon relatively blameless local beat writers are getting in on the act, writing sentences about the "controversy" that cite air:
Meanwhile, archrival Michigan has something of a coaching controversy on its hands, as Carr has come under fire following MichiganÃ‚Â’s 7-5 season in 2005.
Relatively blameless local beat writer does not indicate where the fire comes from, but I'll tell you. It comes from his colleagues, be they print guys or talk radio droolers. The reason the airwaves are filled with talk of Carr on the hotseat is the same reason Drew Sharp has a column: negative stupidity gets attention.
Sure, there is a certain segment of the fanbase that prints up signs comparing Carr to Osama Bin Laden and nearly gets punched by me before the Penn State game, but they are the lunatic fringe. FireCoachX or FireCoachX.us or CanCoachX are the lunatic fringe of the Internet fanbase, which means they're lunatic indeed. Just because talk radio is filled with tough guys from Warren who demand excellence does not imply anything about the fanbase at large. For perspective, this site gets something on the order of 3,500 uniques per day. A large number of comments is 50, and usually those feature a number of posts from a small subset of people having a discussion. Regular commenters make up under 1% of the site's readership. Now take that, magnify the fanbase by several orders of magnitude, and restrict comments to 20 or so: talk radio callers are statistically insignificant electrons orbiting the fanbase nucleus. To extrapolate the desires of an entire fanbase from the segment of it that is only allowed plastic spoons at dinner is akin to assuming that every newspaper story is a complete fabrication because of Jayson Blair.
They aren't. It's just the ones about Carr and the hotseat.
....aaaand I'm done beating this particular dead horse.
Responded to some requests:
- There is now a green and gold version of "Return To Glory" for those with the temerity to wear it into South Bend. The photo doesn't look very legible but the text is in a slightly metallic gold so it should come out fine. Also, its current incarnation is subtle enough to dupe unwise or intoxicated ND fans: beware.
- There are versions of the Hart t-shirts without references to mgoblog.
- There are maize versions of the East Lansing t-shirts and an additional one that claims "East Lansing is a lady of negotiable affection" for those with small children or parents.
- The nice thing about these shirts is they're done with vector graphics and are high quality compared to cafepress type items. This does prohibit the deployment of kittens.
Also, and those of you who already ordered shirts are going to hate me: if you enter the coupon code "SUMMERSALE06" when you check out you will get 15% off until Monday.
Click the shirt to go to the store.